Is any group of humans more consistently wrong about their decisions and opinions than the vaunted “Arab Street”? Is there a more perverse, self-defeating bunch of misguided, just plain stupid, death-worshiping fools on the planet? God, I hope not:
- Arabs greeted the capture of Saddam Hussein with divided emotions Sunday, welcoming the arrest of a dictator yet tinged with regret that a symbol of Arab defiance against the United States was behind bars.
Some feared Saddam’s capture would boost President Bush, who many Arabs believe has waged a campaign against them and other Muslims after the September 11 attacks. But others said the fight against U.S. occupation would go on.
….”I only wish it was not the Americans who got him. I don’t like Saddam but as an Arab I wouldn’t like to see them (Americans) dragging him around Baghdad,” said Syrian student Abdul-Nasser.
For others, the capture was disappointing news. Saddam may have been seen as a dictator who oppressed his people, but many also saw him as the only Arab leader who stood up to the United States, which they said rode roughshod through the region.
“Of course it’s bad news. To us, Saddam was a symbol of defiance to the U.S. plans in the region. And we support any person who stands in the face of the American dominance,” said Azzam Hneidi, an Islamist member of Jordan’s parliament.
Others said the U.S. success might prove fleeting, saying Iraqis were not fighting for Saddam but for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
“The situation in Iraq will not change much. I don’t think the resistance was linked to Saddam and it will increase as was the case after the death of Uday and Qusay,” said Yemeni political analyst Saeed Shabet, referring to Saddam’s two sons.
….”It’s a black day in history. I am saying so not because Saddam is an Arab but because he is the only man who said ‘no’ to American injustice in the Middle East,” said Fadiq Husam, a 33-year-old taxi driver in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
….”We are so happy they got him…The people of Iraq have been brainwashed by the Saddam regime. They need another 20 years to realize that the Kuwaitis are not to blame for the Iraqis’ plight,” said Kuwaiti Mohammad al-Hudieb, cruising the Arabian Gulf seafront in his jeep. [Reuters]
At least the Kuwaitis have some sense of reality – it’s a relief.
- Saddam’s capture changes but does not end the insurgency. The ability of the remaining Baathists to terrorize the Iraqi people into cooperation will reduced enormously. As will their ability to be funded out of Saddam’s coffers. There must be others who have access to the funds that Saddam has been passing to insurgents, but those with access are now as likely to take the money and run as pass it to the insurgents.
….This is a turning point in the war because – if handled correctly – it can change the fight from a brewing ethnic civil war to one of Iraq and the Coalition against external forces. Some Iraqis will leave their ranks, and many others will stay in allegiance to various Shia and Sunni groups – and nations – that support them. Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia should be warned one last time that they will not escape any and all Coalition actions to stop their meddling in Iraq. This is not a quiet evening in Riyadh, Damascus, or Tehran. They hear footsteps, and they sound like American footsteps.
….Those Saddam loyalists still out there will not want to give up, because they fear what he now faces: a war-crimes tribunal made up of the Iraqi people themselves. British P.M. Tony Blair said that Saddam will be tried by the Iraqis. He must be, and very soon. Saddam caught is not as valuable – to us and to Iraq – as Saddam dead.
….What we – and Iraq – both need is for Saddam to be given a fair – no, make that fair enough – trial and be executed for his mass murders.
….The Allies set up war-crimes tribunals to try Nazi and Japanese criminals, and we didn’t need the U.N. or some international court to do it for us. Dust off the Nuremberg rules, convene a panel, and get on with it. We cannot allow the Iraqis to do less. [Jed Babbin]
That’s exactly right: the Iraqis should try him post haste and execute him for mass murder, torture, and plundering the national treasure. We will guide them.